Terry takes 31st 'Battle of the 'Berg' in dramatic fashion over Lamar Consolidated
ROSENBERG — The sophomore backup quarterback who had dealt with back strains all week and barely practiced watched the starter go down and confidently, persistently, assured his coach he was ready. The junior receiver, who had noticed the defense's odd inattentiveness towards him, told the coach to call his number with the game on the line.
And the first-year head coach, captaining his alma mater, took it all in, washed in pride, in a game he admitted was personal as he fought back tears.
Terry earned an "Oh, my God, can you believe it?!" 17-14 come-from-behind win over Lamar Consolidated on Friday evening at Traylor Stadium that only added to the illustrious storybook of the 31-year "Battle of the 'Berg" rivalry between Lamar Consolidated ISD's two oldest high schools.
The Rangers' go-ahead score came with 1:31 left in the game, on junior receiver Trumaine Mitchell's 33-yard snare down the left sideline from sophomore backup Marcus Townsend, who'd entered the game mere moments earlier when starter Jason Cruz suffered an injury.
And upon the roar of the crowd after Mitchell's score, and certainly after Lamar Consolidated missed a field goal as time expired that brought a flourish of joy from the sea of red in the visiting stands, Darnell Jackson, Terry class of 2006, exhaled. He was overcome with emotion after watching his team exude the leadership and 'never say never' mentality he has emphasized in his first year leading the program he once starred for as an all-state receiver.
"We don't quit. We're tough," said Jackson, whose first career head coaching win also happened to come in the district's and community's most anticipated game of the season. "If you look at our sideline, there's 38 kids. We don't look like a lot. We're not the biggest. We're not the fastest. But we are the toughest, and I truly feel that way."
.@BFTerryFootball gifts first-year head coach @Darnelljackson6 his first Battle of the ‘Berg win over Lamar Consoli… https://t.co/mE6gDIElUP— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1630725267.0
Townsend personified that.
"When he came in, banged up and all, I was confident," Jackson said. "The series before, he was telling me, 'Coach, I'm ready. I'm hurting and all, but I'm ready.' Jason went down, and he was like, 'Let's go.' Wow. That's a puppy saying that. A puppy saying, hey, let's put it on my back."
Townsend, not unlike his coach, was speechless after the game. During it, he was fired up. Riding adrenaline, all he knew was he had to step up, back pain and all.
"I don't even know, man. I was just excited," Townsend gushed. "I didn't even know (Mitchell) was going to be open. I saw him open, and I just let it go."
Mitchell did, however, know he'd be open. He told Jackson as much.
"The play before that, I could tell my guy wasn't really focused on me," Mitchell said. "I told Coach to throw me up. I called the play and executed it. It was important that we didn't hang our heads and just executed. The game wasn't over."Ter
Terry junior receiver Trumaine Mitchell.Bradley Collier | VYPE Media
Up until that point, trailing 14-10, the Rangers used 33 bullying rushing yards from senior back Michael Odom to get into Lamar Consolidated territory. Cruz started the 89-yard scoring drive with a 31-yard jaunt of his own.
"They set us up for something big," Jackson said. "Lamar was so focused on trying to stop the run, we took our shot deep to Trumaine. It paid off. I knew he was going to get it. He has the stickiest hands. He's the fastest kid on our team. He runs the first leg of our 4x1 (relay) at the state meet last year. It just felt like slow motion."
Terry led 3-0 on Albert Campos' 35-yard field goal with 7:53 left in the first quarter. A little more than a minute later, Lamar Consolidated took the lead as senior quarterback Dylan Garrett, a 6-foot-3 gunslinger, found senior receiver Rayshawn Glover on a smooth 69-yard flare.
The score remained 10-3 in the Mustangs' favor until Terry senior Fred Dillard took a too-high pass from Garrett at the Rangers' 2-yard line and ran it all the way back for a touchdown, a dynamic pick-6 that awoke the crowd from what had been a sloppy game full of bad snaps and behind-the-chains offense.
But Garrett, who played admirably by completing 13 of 25 passes for 210 yards, showed off his slingshot of an arm once again with a little more than seven minutes left in the game, finding senior Jameil Robinson for a 33-yard touchdown.
That only set the stage for the late heroics of Townsend, Mitchell, and Co.
.@BFTerryFootball junior WR Trumaine Mitchell discusses his 33-yard go-ahead scoring reception with 1:31 left that… https://t.co/MntWychCQ5— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1630727293.0
"Our goal here is to get back to the playoffs," Jackson said of a Terry program that hasn't made the postseason since 2017. "This is a great win, a personal win. I grew up playing in this rivalry. I lost my senior year, and I'd never lost to Lamar before that. From seventh grade to my junior year, didn't lose. Senior year, I did. So, this one was special. I'm ecstatic. I'm so proud of these guys."
>> SLOW START: After a lethargic first half that only produced 186 total yards of offense and one touchdown, the two teams combined for 293 total yards and two touchdowns in the second half.
>> BRAGGING RIGHTS: Terry owns a 17-14 all-time record in the "Battle of the 'Berg." The Rangers also won last year, 25-19. "It's bragging rights," junior linebacker Juan Rodriguez said. "Everybody knows everybody. You want to beat your friends. It is what it is."
>> STAT STUFFERS: Mitchell had six catches for 33 yards and a touchdown for Terry. Cruz completed 8 of 15 passes for 70 yards and rushed for 43 yards on six carries. For Lamar Consolidated, Glover had 84 yards on three catches and Robinson had 70 yards on four catches.